Glad to meet you

Hi, I'm Kim and I'm a 40 year old MED IV. Wow, I feel better already, getting that off my chest! Yes, I am the oldest in my class and the only one with teenagers (including my very own underachieving 20 year old son). While many of my classmates and several of you that I have read about had careers already in the health field, my prior career was as a stay-at-home mom. I had married young, had children young, and felt it was vitally important that I give my children a stable childhood as mine was very chaotic. With some hard work and frugality, my husband and I were able to manage on a single income. However, the PTA and playgroups just weren't enough for me and when my youngest, now 15, was in the first grade, mom went back to school starting with about 30 credits under my belt. Two B.A.s and two MCATs later I finally made it in to med school. We've had a lot of changes of roles in my family along the way, but I am a firm believer in that if you really want to do something, you will find a way to accomplish it even though it may not be in the way or on the timeline that you envision.
Glad I finally found you all,
Kim

From the oldest one in her class, to the oldest in another: Welcome, Kim! When you get a chance, I am sure that there are many who'd like to hear more details about your story. When did you first think of a career in medicine? What sorts of resources did you find along the way? How did you deal with going to college while your kids were in school? Who's been your biggest supporter? (besides yourself!) What are you planning to go into?
Please do hang around, we'll cheer your successes and you'll have a lot to teach the folks on here.

Hi there,
I was the third oldest in my class behind a 51-year-old and a 53-year-old. I am now a 51-year-old second year surgical resident. I guess I never learned that surgery was supposed to be for the younger set. I know of one person older than myself who is a surgery resident. Her name is Kay Blanchard and she finished her residency at Mayo Clinic at the age of 55. It’s funny, when I look at my patients who are my age. They seem much older than me. Oh well, it’s just a number.
I may feel much older after I finish my Trauma ICU shift tonight.
Natalie rolleyes.gif

Well, I am the 4th oldest in my class - behind a 45y/o w/ 6 children, a 40y/o & a 38y/o ex-military chopper pilot…I graduated at 37. Right now, I am most likely the oldest resident at Dartmouth…if not THE oldest, damned close! I KNOW I am the oldest surgical resident! Age & experience have taught me to work smarter & not just harder. I've had many of my fellow interns (there are 13 of us & only 4 of us are surgical categorical) comment on how easy my disposition is - never rattled, never hurried, never run & never let the stress show…so they think. Many years working the ICUs & trauma have engrained a very valuable credo that I not only apply clinically; but have learned it to be most valuable in life too: Identify & take care of the most emergent issue 1st, move to the next most critical alligator & on down the line – eventually, it will all fall into line.
Welcome to OPM! Please elaborate on your story, where you're going to school and what you're gonna be when you get out. We look forward to learning more about you.

Ok, here goes. I’m sure we all have complex reasons for delayed entrance into medicine. Here’s mine. All of childhood after age 4 was spent in survival mode which, as we all know from psych doesn’t work well in adulthood. Total lack of self-confidence. Left home at age 18 after first semester of college. No money meant no college, either. Got married just before age 19. Kids at age 20, 23, and 25. Realized I really did have some good brains at about age 25. Stayed home with the children to give them the solid foundation that I did not have. When the last one started school I started part-time work. Meaningless and unfulfilling work, but what can you expect without an education.
I had had thoughts of being a doctor since I was a kid but didn’t trust it to be truly my desire vs. a way to gain my dad’s approval. I also believed that my dad had sacrificed his family to medicine (He began med school at 32 when I was 10 years old). Anyway, it was at the funeral of my dad’s mother that I looked around at all the family and saw just how many professionals, especially medical professionals, were in my family and realized that it didn’t matter what I did or didn’t do, my dad would approve or not. That’s when I accepted that the desire to be a doc was real.
So, when I got back home I ran to the local community college and enrolled in a class and got started. I finished up an A.A. the next year and went to university. Two years later I had a B.A. in anthropology. I talked to a lot of people and took a lot of bad advice and was not accepted into the local med school on my first try even though I had a decent MCAT and good grades.
So I got more and better advice from medical professors and admission committee members, took a heavy science load, raised my MCAT by 3 points and applied again. This time I was waitlisted. I continued doing my medical volunteer work and was not called for that year.
So, I spent the following year completing a B.S. in biology and by happenstance became a rung on the social-climbing ladder of the director of admissions of my school. That was the year I was admitted to University of South Florida College of Medicine in Tampa. And here I am, a 40 year old Med IV filling out residency applications to Ob-Gyn programs.
Now, there are a few points to take away from my story.
1) If you really want it, there is a way to do it.
2) Be careful about whose advice you take. wink.gif
3) If allowed by life circumstances, try not to limit yourself on how many schools to which you apply.
Enjoying the journey,
Kim